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early last won the day on September 16 2014

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  1. To get me through the winter I went with a similar portable heater to what Ravnis suggested. I also draped poly over all the plants and tanks at night and on cold cloudy days to help keep the warmth in making sure it had plenty of air space from the heater to prevent a fire hazard. This way I only heated the area under the poly. It worked out great and really didn't go through that much fuel. The one I picked up had a basic thermostat on it that I kept at its lowest setting. It kept temps around 52-58 F inside the poly. Thanks for the great advice Ravnis. I hope to get the floor insulated and improve on it some more for next winter but this simple solution really worked out a lot better than I expected.
  2. The big question: Can it compete with hydroponics operations and Central and South American traditional soil based operations?
  3. Hi @vkn: Sounds interesting. 1. I think the best goal is to make the project applicable to the math and science curriculum of the students. Lots to learn about chemistry, biology and physics in an AP system and huge amounts of data to collect and analyze for those in mathematics classes. 2. I would draw real clear goals with education being the main focus and food production as a secondary charitable and awareness thing.
  4. It's neat to see these programs popping up but I wonder how many of them just end up turning into boondoggles. A lot of them seem like a way for someone to fund their dream and risk on someone elses dime and when they fail its someone elses problem. I do hope for the best for them though.
  5. @Old Prospector The radient flooring is a great idea and something I have wanted to do for a great while. Old man time keeps getting in my darned way though. I was thinking about putting down foam board insulation over the current pad, running radient lines and then adding another thinner layer of concrete over the whole thing. I can't budget paying to have it done so its all a matter of me finding that time I need to get 'er done.
  6. Thank you for the great ideas and suggestions! Ravnis - Did you have any problems with soot from that heater? Any ventilation concerns? Fire concerns? Something like that might be my best approach for now until I have the time to do some of the other things mentioned here that would help improve efficiency further so I was curious.
  7. I have had a south facing 12x24 foot double-paned glass lean-to style greenhouse attached to my shed for 5 years now, but I have never been real successful with it. My main goal has been to use it to grow through the winter, but have problems with maintaining warm enough temperatures during the cold winter nights. I'm in USDA zone 5. I have tried using black painted drums filled with water on the back wall and that has helped a marginal amount, but I've always ended up losing plants because of the cold nights unless I used an electric heater. I am not hooked up to nat gas and I don't have a propane tank. I am all electric. I would like to get this thing churning out vegetables in the winter without spending an arm and a leg heating it. I also have some problems on real sunny days in the winter with the GH overheating. It can get up to 120F during the peak of the day when its clear out and then I have to vent off a lot of that heat that I would have been able to use over night. The floor is poured concrete so I can't do much of anything underground. It's also far enough from the house that I don't want to have to go out late at night to feed a bunch of wood into a stove. You good folks have any recommendations for how I can get this thing heated without spending a fortune or needing constant attention? Thanks for any ideas.
  8. Gary - Sorry to hear you are leaving and thanks for everything you've done. I have really enjoyed this site over the years and I don't think you need to worry about APN's future. I have been here since 2009 and IMHO it is better than ever and the moderator leadership and member knowledge and conduct is without doubt better than any other aquaponics forum I have been involved with. There are always some bad apples anywhere but this place is the best. Good luck Mate!
  9. Raising the salinity will usually keep them under control to a point but it won't eradicate them. I've heard of some people using dimilin successfully but its not approved to be used on fish for human consumption.
  10. I've never used the stuff myself but I see no point in it being illegal. If you do in fact own your own body you should be able to make your own choices about what you put in it.
  11. I bet ya marijuana will be legalized in the USA within a few years but the industry will be regulated to protect the big corporate producers much like big tobacco. Little guys won't be allowed to participate in the market.
  12. early

    Heater recommendation

    I have used the ones Ande linked to but they require thermostats to work right. I am using these http://alliedaqua.com/elemental-titanium-heater-w-digital-thermostat-500w.html. They work great.
  13. Sand is dense. Solids are less dense. When you pour water over sand, the water seeps through the dense sand, but the solids are trapped above the sand. In this way sand is a terrific mechanical filter but it is also a high quality bio filter because of its surface area.
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